It Had to Be You

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You”]Today’s feature is from Tracy Waitkus.

Tracy says:

“On a beautiful day last November, I brought a few different teens to the Village of Arroyo Grande (California) for a vintage-inspired photo shoot.

This was a personal project that I had planned over several weeks and reflected my love for portrait photography and vintage clothing.

I sent out a model call (affiliate link) on my Facebook page and via email, and got great response from a number of girls who wanted to participate in the shoot.

Before the shoot, I communicated with the girls via email, sharing my vision with them and giving them guidelines for hair, makeup, and wardrobe.

They did a great job prepping themselves, and arrived ready to go!

We shot for about 90 minutes in the late afternoon, using several different locations including a public garden, the steps of a historical museum, and a bridge.

We had a great time together and both the girls and parents were really excited with the final images.”

Tracy’s Photography Tip:

Here’s something important that I’ve learned as I’ve been building my part-time photography business: make the time to do you own personal projects and shoots in addition to your work for paying clients.

I try to do at least two such shoots throughout the year, recruiting models from my client base and personal contacts. These personal projects end up being my favorite, most enjoyable shoots and yield some of my strongest images.

The benefits to doing personal projects are many:

  • You can plan a shoot that aligns completely with your artistic vision and style, including location, wardrobe, or even a theme.
  • It’s great practice for your paying gigs. You can try new locations, poses, gear, processing, etc. without risk of failing for a paying client.
  • If you do it right (affiliate link), you should be able to even end up with some sales from the shoot. I did!
  • You might end up with some fabulous images to add to your portfolio, images that speak to the type of work you’d most like to be hired for.
  • You’ll have a blast and be reminded of what you love about photography!

Let's Fall in Love
We'll Meet Again
Sentimental Journey

Tracy used a Nikon D610 (affiliate link) with a Nikon 85mm 1.8 (affiliate link) lens to capture these images.

Tracy Waitkus is a San Luis Obispo County, California Portrait and Performing Arts photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Wardrobe.

Doing portfolio shoots (or even shoots just for fun!) can be rewarding just for the images you take during the event.

But if you work the event right, you can even sell prints from it like Tracy did.


Published by Beth Teutschmann

A big fan of food, chaos, and all things fun, Beth is the owner of Starboard Editing, LLC - a photography post-production company focusing on anything from editing to blogging and SEO. When she's required to leave the confines of her dark room, she enjoys martial arts, eating, tattoos, cooking, ice cream, sillyness, eating, and traveling. You should probably say hi.

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